Bishop Guglielmone disappointed by Supreme Court decision

CHARLESTON—Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said he was “very disappointed” in the Supreme Court’s rule that the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defining marriage as between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause.

“The high court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people,” he said in a statement from the Diocese of Charleston regarding the 5-4 opinion on June 26.

“Marriage is a life-long commitment between a man and woman,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “ It is the only union in which the husband and wife form a total communion of persons and serve as the foundation of the family. Marriage provides any child who comes from their union with the secure support of a mother and father; the difference between a mom and a dad matters.”

He described marriage and the family as a vital part of society.

“Husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, perform an essential role by teaching family members and society the immense dignity of each human person and what it means to love and be loved,” the bishop said. “Marriage is a personal relationship with great public significance not a private affair — that affects all in society.”

Catholic News Service reported that in a separate case, the court sent back to lower courts a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative barring same-sex marriage. The apparent result is that same-sex marriage will again be legal in California as soon as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals formally dismisses the case, as the high court instructed it.

In this second 5-4 ruling, with a different lineup of justices, the court remanded the case on the grounds that the individuals who defended the law in court lacked legal standing to do so, a CNS article stated.

Neither decision will have the effect of requiring states to honor same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, but the DOMA case likely will affect how the federal government must treat same-sex marriages for purposes ranging from Social Security benefits to taxation, immigration and benefits for military spouses, CNS reported.

“In spite of today’s Supreme Court decision, the Church community will continue to stand together in promoting and defending marriage — the union between one man and one woman for life,” Bishop Guglielmone said. “I ask for prayers regarding this issue as we work to strengthen, support and safeguard marriage.”